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NASA Fights to Save Budget.
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe made an impassioned plea to the chairman of the US House Committee on Appropriations to restore $1 billion in funding for the new Space exploration initiative, announced earlier this year. In his short letter, he asked the committee to consider how the budget cuts will affect the agency's science programs, and delay the development of new technologies to support the Vision for Space Exploration.
Administrator Sean O'Keefe today acknowledged the tough financial decisions that have to be made by Congress in passing the fiscal year 2005 budget, but asked the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations to restore more than $1 billion of recommended cuts made Tuesday by the appropriations subcommittee.
"Over the course of the past year, Congress has called for the President to articulate a vision and strategy for space exploration. The President's budget proposes the means to support the Vision for Space exploration while the Subcommittee's position does not provide the resources," said the Administrator in a letter to Committee Chairman C. W. Bill Young, Republican congressman from Florida's 10th District. "We are encouraged that the Subcommittee endorsed the Vision for Space exploration in their markup, indicating they are hopeful that it may be possible to augment NASA funding as the appropriations process moves forward."
Tuesday, members of the subcommittee recommended to the full Appropriations Committee a $15.1 billion budget for NASA, cutting about $1.1 billion from the President's 2005 fiscal year submission. The NASA budget is part of a $93 billion spending bill that also provides funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency.
"The Subcommittee-recommended funding level for NASA would adversely affect its ongoing science and technology programs, as well as the NASA workforce, and will delay plans for FY 2005 critical technology design efforts needed to better define the architecture in support of the Vision for Space Exploration," the Administrator continued in his letter. "It is very important that these design efforts go forward in FY 2005 to enable NASA to address the long-lead, high-risk requirements that will form the basis for informed decisions by Congress on next steps in the Exploration plan."
The Administrator thanked Chairman Young for the Appropriation Committee's support of the Vision for Space Exploration. Administrator O'Keefe said he would continue to seek Committee and Congressional support for full funding of the President's 2005 budget as the appropriations process continues.
The entire letter may be found on the Internet at:
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